When it comes to representational food fare in Buffalo, Ted’s Hot Dogs is right up there with Anchor Bar, as far as I’m concerned. The reopening of Ted’s on Chippewa is a big deal for this city. Ever since the business shuttered its doors on Porter Avenue, there has been a heartfelt absence in the city’s restaurant scene. Ted’s is synonymous with Buffalo. The entire eating experience is so uniquely Buffalo, steeped in family traditions.
Now the tradition is back, and families are once again flocking to the homegrown operation, ordering up the traditional char grilled foot long dogs, while talking about the history of the joint and the fond memories that they had when they were younger. A new generation of city-dwellers is also coming to love the traditions associated with Ted’s.
A couple of days ago I stopped in with a friend to try the place out and relive some of my own memories from childhood. While most things were pretty much the same, there were some interesting newfangled updates that we came across. Upon entering, our orders were taken by a young girl who was holding a tablet. We scoped out the flatscreen menus for a few seconds and then proceeded to order. From there, we followed down the line that passed along the grill stations. At this point, the system was pretty much as I remembered it.
Ted’s did a great job at creating a welcoming restaurant that harkens back to the days when it first opened. There are some clever uses of signage, cute faux roof overhang elements, and even throwback songs playing on the sound system.
Looking at the menu, I was surprised to see a few updates that looked… um… very Americanized. Not to say that Ted’s isn’t your traditional American hot dog joint. Maybe I should say modern day “Americanized”. That means taking tradition and making it more appealing to a society that is always looking for the next best sensational, over the top food items. Ted’s now offers a mac and ring dog (hot dog topped with mac and cheese and onion rings). There’s also a bacon, ring and cheese burger. These are some heavy hitters for sure.
Ted’s is also up to date with its healthier side, its texture side, its dietary side. There’s a veggie dog, a skinless dog, and gluten free roll for those who always wanted to go to Ted’s but were not sure if there was anything for them on the menu. The restaurant also serves up hot chocolate, milkshakes and malts, sweet potato fries, grilled chicken, Polish and Italian sausages and a Sea Dog (fish fry sandwich).
The Ted’s tradition is back in Buffalo, along with some updated twists. I love seeing this all happen on Chippewa to boot. It’s a great addition to the street and brings a welcome family-friendly atmosphere to the pseudo party district.
It is important to note that there is another available space “for lease” in-between Ted’s and Subway. It will be interesting to see if Ted’s expands, or if another crafty food operation takes advantage of the Ted’s buzz. Come spring, Ted’s will also have an outdoor patio on the Elmwood side. The street is certainly shaping up these days, and it’s great to see!
Ted’s Hot Dogs | 124 W. Chippewa Street | Buffalo, NY 14202
Sunday — Thursday 10:30am — 9:00pm | Friday & Saturday 10:30am — 2:00am